Learn English – What does “for Mr. Spicer, The Mooch was a bridge too far” mean


New York Times (July 21) reported the resignation of Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary under the headline, “We’ll miss you, Sean Spicer.” It follows:

Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, has resigned. But first,
he slammed the door in an ABC News reporter’s face. Reports indicate
that Mr. Spicer quit because President Trump had appointed Anthony
Scaramucci White House communications director. After all that’s
happened in the last six months, for Mr. Spicer, The Mooch was a
bridge too far.

From TheNewYorkTimes.com

Oxford online Dictionary defines “mooch” as a noun;

  1. (British) an instance of loitering in a bored or listless manner.
  2. (North American) a beggar or scrounger.

But neither of them seems to apply to “the Mooch” in the above quote. What does “The Mooch was a bridge too far” mean?

Best Answer

The term a bridge too far is a bit like the final straw (...that breaks the camel's back).

It derives from the film A Bridge Too Far (1977), which was a dramatisation of the British airborne attempt to hold the Rhine bridge at Arnhem in September 1944. Other bridges en route to Arnhem, at Eindhoven and Nijmegen, were successfully held intact for the main column to cross. Despite seizing the town of Arnhem behind enemy lines and holding the bridge for three days, the Paras are eventually overcome by German tanks, with the main attack unable to relieve them. One of the British commanders is attributed as having said something like we have gone for a bridge too far.